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Students with disabilities enrich the diversity of Cornell’s community and we encourage students to self-identify with Student Disability Services (SDS). SDS offers confidential support to Cornell students. 

Students who choose to self-identify only are not asked to provide disability documentation. Students requesting disability services and accommodations, whose access needs are not obvious, must submit current documentation that is appropriate for the disability. Student involvement is essential to the identification, and implementation, of appropriate and reasonable accommodations. We look forward to working with you to address your access needs.

Steps to Register with SDS

  1. Complete and submit the Disability Self-Disclosure and Request for Access Accommodations Form.
  2. Submit current and comprehensive disability documentation
    • Except in cases of obvious physical disabilities, documentation is required before accommodation will be provided.
    • If documentation is insufficient to determine eligibility for disability services, we may request additional information.
  3. A SDS counselor will review your information and will follow up about the next steps. Generally, once sufficient documentation has been submitted, you will be asked to meet with a counselor to implement an accommodation plan.

The information gathered in this process is used to develop an accommodation plan with you. The plan can be modified throughout your Cornell career as your access needs change.

Students using academic accommodations are responsible for following the SDS procedures for using academic accommodations.

You have the right to seek answers to questions or concerns about academic modifications, possible discrimination, and campus accessibility. We encourage you to initially discuss concerns with your SDS counselor. Please also see our complaint resolution procedures for further ways to address concerns.

How will SDS follow up with me?

We will communicate with you via email about any need for additional information, or about the next steps in the registration process. It can take us up to three weeks to follow up with you. Please watch your Cornell email for a reply, and be sure to also check the spam folder on your email account if you were expecting a reply and had not seen one yet. You may also follow up with us to check the status of your request by contacting our office.

The Importance of Advance Notice

In support of the interactive process for determining appropriate academic accommodations, timely notice of requests for disability services is required. It is important to understand that reviewing requests can take up to 10-15 business days. Some accommodations, such as converting course materials into accessible formats and providing sign language interpreters, can take up to 4-8 weeks to arrange. Registering with SDS as soon as you are aware that you may need disability services or accommodations will help ensure that your accommodation requests are considered and provided on a timely basis.

A complete request includes the submission of the online Disability Self-Disclosure Form and disability documentation that meets SDS guidelines for eligibility

Upon approval for eligibility for disability services, a SDS Counselor will work with you to create your accommodation plan. Because certain accommodations require faculty to implement them, timely notice to instructors is required. As such, accommodations requested late in a semester may not be effective until the following semester. Please note: instructors are not obligated to provide accommodations retroactively regarding assignments, exams, or situations that occurred prior to you being determined eligible for disability services and accommodations.   

If you have experienced an unexpected injury or illness, please refer to our What To Do If You Are Injured page for guidance on best next steps.